Thursday, September 19, 2013

More than 20 Ag Leaders Speak at Ag Forum in Watertown

From state Sen. Patricia Ritchie:

Morris Sorbello, an onion farmer and county legislator from Granby in Oswego County, speaks to the panel of senators. Photo from JJ Schell of Cooperative Extension

Agriculture leaders from across New York state shared their thoughts on how to cut red tape and expand their industry at a forum hosted by state Senator Patricia Ritchie and her Senate colleagues Thursday in Watertown. 

The event — which also included Sen. Patrick Gallivan. R-Elma, Erie County, Sen. David Valesky, D-Oneida, Madison County, and Sen. Kathleen Marchione, R-Halfmoon, Saratoga, County — was the second in a series of industry-specific public forums on regulatory reform organized as part of the Senate Majority Coalition’s bipartisan effort to identify and eliminate at least 1,000 of the most costly government regulations that strangle business and job growth and drive up local taxes. 

“As with any business, farmers, and others in the agriculture industry experience many challenges including burdensome red tape and numerous regulations,” said Ritchie, who chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee. 

“The input provided at today’s forum will truly be invaluable as we move forward and continue the work we have already done to provide relief from mandates, rules and regulations that negatively affect our state’s biggest industry.”

More than two-dozen agriculture leaders attended Thursday’s forum, and topics discussed included:

·  Ensuring farms are able to secure agricultural labor
·  Supporting initiatives that further the availability of improved technology
·  Making power costs more manageable for farmers and others in the agriculture industry
·  Supporting initiatives that allow local farms to capitalize of New York’s growing yogurt industry
·  Making New York State regulations more compatible with Federal regulations

Additional forums are scheduled for Syracuse (manufacturing), Long Island (construction), Saratoga Springs (hospitality and tourism), Rockland County (small business), New York City (insurance and banking), Corning (manufacturing) and Rochester (biotechnology).

Go to for more information on the forum.

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